Police seize guns disguised as pens

Two guns disguised as pens have been seized in raids at the homes of a pair of teenage gang members.

The weapons were recovered from the homes of two young men in Waltham Forest, east London, today.



Members of the Met's Territorial Support Group arrested the suspects on suspicion of possessing a firearm and ammunition.



A 16-year-old was arrested at a house in Orange Grove, Leytonstone, and a 17-year-old was held in Higham Street, Walthamstow.



The older boy was also held on drugs offences after suspected class A drugs were found and handling stolen goods.



The raids, code-named Operation Cinnamon, were launched after police found a pen gun wrapped in a sock after splitting up a gang on the street last November.



Several different types of pen guns are available in the United States, but only one design is legal because it looks like a pistol.



There are numerous guides to converting pens into one-shot shotgun-style weapons on the internet.



In November 2009, a man was jailed at Manchester Crown Court after drunkenly trying to sell a home-made James Bond-style fountain pen gun to a stranger in a car.



The Met's private so-called "Black Museum", housed in New Scotland Yard, contains several different pen guns kept to help police officers recognise them.



Waltham Forest borough commander Chief Superintendent Steve Wisbey said: "Today's operation is designed to clamp-down on gang activity in the borough.



"Our intelligence exposed gang members involved in firearms. We've arrested two people for a serious crime, but this is not a one-off.



"Our gang programme that we've launched is an ongoing commitment to tackling these types of issues.



"We're giving gang members an opportunity to change their ways with help and support via the programme.



"If they don't want to change and continue to commit acts of criminality they will feel the full force of the law.



"I would like the public to know the Metropolitan Police Service are committed to tackling gang-related crime.



"There are a lot of ongoing operations around youth violence that we are working on 24/7."



* Two young men remained in custody at an east London police station tonight.

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Day In a Page

Syria crisis: Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more refugees as one young mother tells of torture by Assad regime

Celebrities call on David Cameron to take more Syrian refugees

One young mother tells of torture by Assad regime
The enemy within: People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back – with promising results

The enemy within

People who hear voices in their heads are being encouraged to talk back
'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

'In Auschwitz you got used to anything'

Survivors of the Nazi concentration camp remember its horror, 70 years on
Autumn/winter menswear 2015: The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore

Autumn/winter menswear 2015

The uniforms that make up modern life come to the fore
'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

'I'm gay, and plan to fight military homophobia'

Army general planning to come out
Iraq invasion 2003: The bloody warnings six wise men gave to Tony Blair as he prepared to launch poorly planned campaign

What the six wise men told Tony Blair

Months before the invasion of Iraq in 2003, experts sought to warn the PM about his plans. Here, four of them recall that day
25 years of The Independent on Sunday: The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century

25 years of The Independent on Sunday

The stories, the writers and the changes over the last quarter of a century
Homeless Veterans appeal: 'Really caring is a dangerous emotion in this kind of work'

Homeless Veterans appeal

As head of The Soldiers' Charity, Martin Rutledge has to temper compassion with realism. He tells Chris Green how his Army career prepared him
Wu-Tang Clan and The Sexual Objects offer fans a chance to own the only copies of their latest albums

Smash hit go under the hammer

It's nice to pick up a new record once in a while, but the purchasers of two latest releases can go a step further - by buying the only copy
Geeks who rocked the world: Documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry

The geeks who rocked the world

A new documentary looks back at origins of the computer-games industry
Belle & Sebastian interview: Stuart Murdoch reveals how the band is taking a new direction

Belle & Sebastian is taking a new direction

Twenty years ago, Belle & Sebastian was a fey indie band from Glasgow. It still is – except today, as prime mover Stuart Murdoch admits, it has a global cult following, from Hollywood to South Korea
America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

America: Land of the free, home of the political dynasty

These days in the US things are pretty much stuck where they are, both in politics and society at large, says Rupert Cornwell
A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A graphic history of US civil rights – in comic book form

A veteran of the Fifties campaigns is inspiring a new generation of activists
Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

Winston Churchill: the enigma of a British hero

A C Benson called him 'a horrid little fellow', George Orwell would have shot him, but what a giant he seems now, says DJ Taylor
Growing mussels: Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project

Growing mussels

Precious freshwater shellfish are thriving in a unique green project